According to a large banner on the GoDaddy Auctions homepage, GoDaddy will be hosting a private auction featuring domain names owned by BuyDomains. There are 150 domain names up for auction, and the starting price for each auction is $500. It appears that many of these auctions have reserve prices, but it is unclear what the reserve ranges are for individual domain names. A wide variety of domain names are included in the auction.
This marks GoDaddy’s first venture into private “theme” auctions in over a little over a year. As you may recall, GoDaddy ran private auctions on behalf of the .Info and .Org registries in late 2012, early 2013.
In the past, BuyDomains partnered with SnapNames to run auctions with domain names from the company’s portfolio. I am not sure if the GoDaddy acquisition of Afternic had anything to do with this expanded relationship with NameMedia, but I would guess the companies discussed a collaboration like this when they were discussing the Afternic deal.
I reached out to Paul Nicks, Senior Director, Aftermarket at GoDaddy, and here’s what he had to say about the auction and the company’s relationship with BuyDomains. “In addition to the exceptional inventory of this auction, GoDaddy has had a great relationship with BuyDomains for many years. GoDaddy is focused on providing our customers the best value possible and this auction is going to bring premium names to our customers at discounted prices.”
With its major role in the sale of new gTLD domain names, I wouldn’t be surprised to see GoDaddy host private auctions on behalf of new domain name registries. GoDaddy could request that specific premium inventory be included in these auctions, which would help drive interest and revenue.
It remains to be seen if GoDaddy will begin offering private auction submissions to domain investors, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that is something that happens in the future. The biggest issue in offering private auctions is the management aspect because sellers want a comprehensive dashboard to monitor auctions and the company will need to ensure they have enough fraud protection safeguards to prevent things like shill bidding.
The BuyDomains auction runs for a week, beginning on March 26th and ending on April 2nd.